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Characterization of Technologically Relevant Point Defects in Piezoelectric Oxide Materials

School of Science and Engineering

About the Project

Oxide materials with a perovskite, or related, structure remain of primary importance as piezoelectric materials. They are used in applications ranging from medical ultrasound transducers to fuel injectors for diesel engines. The piezoelectric materials are often engineered with the aim of optimizing the point defect content, as these can control relevant material properties. However, the direct detection and identification of point defects is not normally possible with conventional materials characterization methods. This project will use specialized point defect spectroscopy methods such as positron annihilation spectroscopy and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy to detect and identify point defects in model and technological piezoelectric materials.

For informal enquiries about the project, contact Professor David J. Keeble ()
For general enquiries about the University of Dundee, contact

Applicants must have obtained, or expect to obtain, a first or 2.1 UK honours degree, or equivalent for degrees obtained outside the UK in a relevant discipline.

English language requirement: IELTS (Academic) score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 5.5 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s English language requirements are available online:


Step 1: Email Professor David Keeble () to (1) send a copy of your CV and (2) discuss your potential application and any practicalities (e.g. suitable start date).

Step 2: After discussion with Professor Keeble, formal applications can be made via UCAS Postgraduate. When applying, please follow the instructions below:

Apply for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Physics: Select the start date and study mode (full-time/part-time) agreed with the lead supervisor.

In the ‘provider questions’ section of the application form:
- Write the project title and ‘’ in the ‘if your application is in response to an advertisement’ box;
- Write the lead supervisor’s name and give brief details of your previous contact with them in the ‘previous contact with the University of Dundee’ box.

In the ‘personal statement’ section of the application form, outline your suitability for the project selected.

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project. The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for tuition fees, project specific bench fees and living expenses via external sponsorship or self-funding.


S. Steiner, I. T. Seo, P. R. Ren, M. Li, D. J. Keeble, and T. Fromling, Journal of the American Ceramic Society 102 (9), 5295 (2019).

D. J. Keeble, M. Loyo-Menoyo, Z. I. Y. Booq, R. R. Garipov, V. V. Eremkin, and V. Smotrakov, Phys. Rev. B 80 (1), 014101 (2009).

D. J. Keeble, in Near-Surface Depth Profiling of Solids by Mono-Energetic Positrons, edited by B. N. Ganguly and G. Brauer (Trans Tech Publications Ltd, Switzerland, 2012), Vol. 331, pp. 201.

D. J. Keeble, S. Wicklein, L. Jin, C. L. Jia, W. Egger, and R. Dittmann, Phys. Rev. B 87 (19) (2013).

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